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DIGITAL MARKETING, TECHNOLOGY, LEAD GENERATION

Top Digital Marketing Trends For 2021

Are you wondering what the top digital marketing trends for 2021 are? You’ve come to the right place!

Despite being a cringy year in which we had to embrace and adapt to a new way of life, 2020 has reminded the world at large that our roots are what hold us together. The same can be said about digital marketing trends in 2021 as well. Although there are upcoming trends that need to be incorporated, the basics are not to be neglected.

What do we mean?

Simply put, people are still people, and the way we approach them remains the same. The buyer’s journey still invariably starts with the buyer becoming aware of your product or service, after which they consider your brand, and finally make the decision to buy from you. 

Why are we telling you this?

Because, any trend, old or new, is in-line with the buyer’s journey and is most effective when used at the appropriate stage.

Here is a list of the top digital marketing trends in 2021.

  1. Automate Google Bids And Mailing Lists
  2. Build Your Personal Brand
  3. Use Conversational Chatbots
  4. Optimize Your Local SEO
  5. Get Ready To Be Found Via Voice And Visual Queries
  6. Say “Yes” To Casual Content
  7. Flaunt The Power Of Emotional Storytelling
  8. Build Credibility With User Generated Content
  9. Leverage Video Sales Funnels
  10. Optimize For Featured Snippets In SERP
  11. Invest In Influencer Marketing
  12. Embrace Inclusive Marketing
  13. Spike Retention Rates With Segmentation 
  14. Be Purposeful And Resourceful
  15. Show That You Care

Let’s dig in!

#1. Automate Google Bids and Mailing Lists

You knew this was coming! Every industry in 2021 is striving to embrace automation with artificial intelligence and machine learning. So, why shouldn’t we marketers?

Although there are multiple prospects to automate marketing analytics and content curation strategies, let’s start with something simple and effective. 

Along with the intensity of running multiple campaigns simultaneously, Google Ads marketers spend exhaustive hours revamping their bids. Allowing Google to automate your bidding process not only saves you time but also ensures that your bids are adjusted in real-time.

Yet another way to leverage AI is to automate your marketing emails. Many tools enable you to predesignate mail campaigns to lead forms. You’ll be bagging potential customers even while asleep!

#2. Build your Personal Brand

Personal branding is not just for CEOs and industry experts. Every professional inclined toward making a mark in today’s digital society gains from building their brand.

A personal brand does not just help maintain your online presence but rather establishes your or your brand’s authority. It increases your visibility and helps in advancing your career. Remember, a personal brand is all about “you” and your values!

If you are a start-up or a small business, it is extremely important that you begin brainstorming ideas to build a face for your brand. Imagine someone searches for a “top digital marketing agency in Chennai” on Google. If your name ranks along with your brand’s, you have people trusting you right there!

#3. Use Conversational Chatbots

Chatbots are your virtual customer care service. People need immediate answers to their queries and they simply know that a conversational chatbot can deliver. Chatbots and live chats are a more natural method to interact with your audience when compared to tedious forms.

Apart from giving your potential customer a better experience by automating repetitive tasks, chatbots give you the time to work on the more important stuff.

Experiment with positioning chatbots on your website, preferably on the pages with the most traffic, like the homepage, or one with the most questions, like a pricing page. HubSpot’s survey indicates that over 45% of websites already have a chatbot.

Pie chart showing percentage of companies that use chatbots on their website.
It's clear that the number of websites using chatbots is rising.

Small scale businesses that embrace digital marketing channels can leverage the use of chatbots on social media as well. 

#4. Optimize your Local SEO

With paradigms shifting in many industries to aid local businesses, local SEO can be a blessing. Optimizing your local SEO allows intent searchers from near your locality to find you at ease. 

Although this may seem like you’re minimizing your radius, remember that

  • “near me” searches have high intent,
  • people are most likely to walk into your premises sooner bringing you more leads and
  • search engines like Google prioritize relevance, which is easier to figure with your local SEO optimized.

Chatmeter has cited that “near me” searches had gone up 900% in the last couple of years and Go Golf highlights that 46% of all Google searches are aimed at local businesses. So, if you are a local or a small-scale business, you know what to do!

#5. Get ready to be found via Voice and Visual Queries

Voice searches are already prevalent and are deemed to be gaining popularity over typing. According to Oberlo, 71% of customers would rather speak than type in their queries.

Another trend that is catching on is image searches! With Google Lens and other similar tools, customers can search for what they see. If you are a shopping site, you can easily lure these customers onto your platform with the right kind of optimizations.

Keep in mind that both voice and image searches need optimizations apart from your usual Search Engine Optimizations. Here are some tips:

  • To be found by voice queries, it is highly recommended that your content is simple, natural, and conversational.
  • To be found by image queries, make sure to add long-tail keywords to your filenames and alt-texts, and spend time developing an image sitemap.

#6. Say “yes” to Casual Content

Think about it, when was the last time you read through a boring blog post? Did you make it to the end? We’re guessing no!

Think about all the things that were wrong with that piece of content. Did it have a proper structure? Did it use too many fancy words that reduced its readability? Or was it just not interesting enough?

Content marketing thrives on casual content, which is easy to consume content that lets you interact with your readers. The more you engage them, the more time they’ll spend on your website or social media post, which would of course increase your appearances on search engines and news feeds.

Good Content Marketing strategies include interactive content, that is a good mix of educational and entertaining content.
Effective Content Marketing should be interactive- a good mix of educational and entertaining content.

Keeping content casual and readable also makes your search engine optimization easier and more efficient, letting crawlers effortlessly index you based on relevancy.

 #7. Flaunt the Power of Emotional Storytelling

It’s ironic that emotional business storytelling is cruising forward when news channels are flashing otherwise. There are plenty of top brands that are already making the most out of this digital marketing strategy.

For instance, Google compiled predominant searches from the year 2020 to tell its story of how people survived through the pandemic.

As you can see in this video, business storytelling is grounded more on facts than on fiction. Stories are a great way to relate with your audience while differentiating your brand from your competitors. Adding emotion to your stories lets the audience know that you are being empathic, thus allowing you to build trust that drives sales.


#8. Build Credibility with User Generated Content

User-Generated Content (UGC) gives potential customers who are just becoming aware of your brand or are considering your service a thrust ahead. Why? People like hearing testimonials, reviews, and feedback from others like themselves.

UGC is simply more effective and easier to relate with for your audience when compared with other campaigns. From a marketing perspective, UGC can be a fresh flow of content; ones that your team may not have thought of. When incorporated into your content marketing planning and coupled with social media strategies, they can work wonders for your brand.

#9. Leverage Video Sales Funnels

Research claims that India would consume more video content than the US by the end of 2020. That is a whole lot of video consumption, isn’t it? With more people staying home even post the pandemic, there is no doubt that video content is still being consumed like crazy.

Although YouTube and Facebook are considered the major platforms for video marketers, other platforms such as Instagram and TikTok are also aiding in their rocketing results.

#10. Optimize for Featured Snippets in SERP

Among the many evergreen digital marketing trends that we have compiled, an important and unchanging one is to know your search engine’s trend. Over the last few years, Google and other search engines aim for relevancy of content and ease of access.

Rank #0 on the Google SERP displays a featured snippet, which is a compilation of the most relevant content. Google overseeds all other ranks and positions this piece of content right at the top of the SERP. 

Since the featured snippet directly answers the search query without the user having to click through, it is also termed a “no-click search.” 

Google offers featured snippets in the form of definitions, lists, and tables. To optimize your content for a featured snippet, make sure to format and align text content appropriately.

#11. Invest in Influencer Marketing

Have you considered promoting your brand through an influencer or an industry expert? This is a highly effective and proven method for young brands and local businesses to start marketing their products or services.

Despite the stage that a customer is in their buyer’s journey when they are recommended a brand by their favorite celebrity or their role model, they tend to listen. Influencer marketing can spike your engagement on social media as well. If you could get an influencer to go live and talk about your brand, be ready to see those arrows hike!

#12. Embrace Inclusive Marketing

What is Inclusive Marketing?

Inclusive marketing is developing content that embraces diversity and goes beyond social barriers like ethnicity, race, caste, religion, gender, and sexuality. Marketers can portray their brand’s inclusivity via images or videos and also through what they discuss on social media. The line of products that you offer can make a statement by itself!

In today’s world, people are more sensitive to social issues. A study by Accenture says that 42% of shoppers are ready to switch to retailers that embrace diversity.

Making sure that your brand supports cultural shifts and letting your audience know that you are with them in the battle against such discrimination will help you gain their trust.

#13. Spike Retention Rates with Segmentation

What is segmentation?

Segmentation is simply a digital marketing strategy used by large companies to target their desirable niche audience. Smaller companies would rather term it “niche marketing.”

An illustration of how a bunch of customers are segmented.
Customer Segmentation helps brands target audience more specifically.

The ideology is fairly straightforward. Each customer is different and has a set of requirements that he wants your product or service to satisfy. Rather than targeting a whole lot of your audience, it is a better strategy to segment them into smaller niche groups. 

For example, if you are a shampoo brand for women consider having separate mailing lists for women with curly hair and those with straight hair. It’s as simple as that!

 #14. Be Purposeful and Resourceful

Always remember that your audience appreciates transparency. Establish a personal connection with your customers so that they know that they are a valuable part of your organization. 

Be sure to communicate your activities and changes in your products to your clients through email marketing and the various social media channels. Don’t come off as ‘shady’ and you’ll be gaining their trust!

#15. Show that you Care

Every brand has a vision that reflects its soul. Show your audience that you are more than just a business and that you really care. 

We see brands performing good deeds all the time and guess what, they’re being appreciated- like when during the pandemic of 2020, Taj Hotels provided free food for doctors.

Snippet from Twitter taking about Taj Hotel's helpfulness during the pandemic.
Twitterati applauded the Tata Group for their empathetic services during the pandemic of 2020.

Some other brands showcase sustainability, their desire to conserve the environment. They engage in relevant conversations on social media, use reusable or eco-friendly packaging and go with green themes to show their support and concern.

To Wrap Up

During the lockdown and the quarantine, even people who usually didn’t turn to the internet for information or entertainment had to do it. This means that online markets have widened. 

Digital marketing agencies are looking at 2021 to be a robust year with plenty of opportunities. Let’s get to seizing them by establishing transparency and authority with your online presence, automating existing processes, optimizing content wherever possible!

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